Lucknow: In a major relief to cane growers in Uttar Pradesh, the Allahabad High Court has directed the state government to ensure all arrears owed by sugar mills against farmers are paid off by Oct 31.
The court Friday ruled that the government should ensure the deadline is met in letter and spirit.
The sugar mills own dues of more than Rs. 5,500 crores. The court has not only asked them to pay up the dues but also its interest.
The court at an earlier hearing had allowed the sugar mills to sell 15 per cent of the sugar in open market so as to generate money so that dues can be cleared at the earliest.
Cane growers have been on a war path against the Samajwadi Party (SP) government in the state for not pressurising the sugar mills for clearing their dues. The sugar mill owners have, however, been saying that the policies of the government were not beneficial and they were incurring major losses.
The SP government had a few weeks back cracked the whip on some sugar mills and had got FIRs slapped on management of many sugar mills. This, however, did not act as a deterrent enough and the impasse between cane farmers and the sugar mills continued.
The HC issued these directives while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by the Bharatiya Kisan Mazdoor Sangh.